Borough President Eric Adams lent a helping hand for front-line workers dealing with COVID-19 on Sunday, April 5. The BP joined PSK Supermarkets to call on the City and State to identify dedicated testing locations for these workers.
Lending a helping hand
Unions representing first responders and health care workers included:
- Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
- District Council 37 (DC 37)
- Correction Officers Benevolent Association (COBA)
- United Probation Officers Association (UPOA)
- New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF).
Adams also called for all grocery stores throughout the city to prioritize first responders, health care workers, and hospital personnel for checkout.
Workers testing positive
Several workers have called out sick or tested positive for the disease, highlighting the need for testing sites to ensure those serving our city during this challenging time receive the care and treatment they need.
According to the NYPD, on Thursday, April 2, 6,498 officers were out sick.
The following day, the FDNY reported 376 of its members have tested positive for COVID-19, with 17 percent of firefighters and 24 percent of emergency medical services (EMS) workers out sick.
“(First responders) don’t have the luxury of telecommuting,” Adams said. “It’s time we show our gratitude to these heroes in concrete ways by setting up dedicated testing facilities to help identify cases and get them the proper treatment as well as giving them priority when they shop after punishingly long shifts. First responders should get first dibs – they deserve no less.”
PSK, which owns Foodtown and Pathmark supermarkets, instituted this policy in their 13 stores throughout the state.
“We hope that every supermarket in New York and the entire country follows suit in helping to get our healthcare workers and first responders through the checkout lines as quickly as possible,” said Co-President of PSK Supermarkets Noah Katz.
He added that, “Our company, representing our five stores in Brooklyn, will distribute $100,000 in Foodtown and Pathmark gift cards, in $25 increments, in bulk contributions to local hospitals around our stores in Brooklyn for the healthcare providers.”
The process will begin this week.
Foodtown – Pathmark also committed to $100,000 in grocery gift cards for hospital workers and first responders to get through the checkout lines faster.